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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Jul 15;52(8):5293-302. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-7055.

Factors influencing self-reported vision-related activity limitation in the visually impaired.

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Department of Vision and Hearing Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.



The use of patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures to assess self-reported difficulty in visual activities is common in patients with impaired vision. This study determines the visual and psychosocial factors influencing patients' responses to self-report measures, to aid in understanding what is being measured.


One hundred visually impaired participants completed the Activity Inventory (AI), which assesses self-reported, vision-related activity limitation (VRAL) in the task domains of reading, mobility, visual information, and visual motor tasks. Participants also completed clinical tests of visual function (distance visual acuity and near reading performance both with and without low vision aids [LVAs], contrast sensitivity, visual fields, and depth discrimination), and questionnaires assessing depressive symptoms, social support, adjustment to visual loss, and personality.


Multiple regression analyses identified that an acuity measure (distance or near), and, to a lesser extent, near reading performance without LVAs, visual fields, and contrast sensitivity best explained self-reported VRAL (28%-50% variance explained). Significant psychosocial correlates were depression and adjustment, explaining an additional 6% to 19% unique variance. Dependent on task domain, the parameters assessed explained 59% to 71% of the variance in self-reported VRAL.


Visual function, most notably acuity without LVAs, is the best predictor of self-reported VRAL assessed by the AI. Depression and adjustment to visual loss also significantly influence self-reported VRAL, largely independent of the severity of visual loss and most notably in the less vision-specific tasks. The results suggest that rehabilitation strategies addressing depression and adjustment could improve perceived visual disability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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